***EMBARGOED UNTIL WEDNESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2017****
07-Nov-2017 4:33 PM
Lawyers warn injured workers are facing a grim Christmas if government doesn't reverse legislation to protect injured workers.
As a result of the 2012 reforms injured workers lose their entitlement to compensation by way of weekly payments once the worker has received 260 weeks of payments whether consecutive or not if their injury assessment is less than 21%.
The result is that the first workers to accumulate 260 weeks of weekly entitlements are already seeing their payments terminated with the majority of workers facing this catastrophic compensation cut from 26th December 2017, the day after Christmas.
“It’s an awfully painful and traumatic way to spend the holiday period, knowing that your finances will spiral you into below-the-line poverty,”
“Under these new laws, Mr McGarrell will lose up to 66% of his income. This will barely cover rent or his lifelong medical expenses,” said Shine Lawyers NSW General Manager, James Chrara.
This is the case for Shine Lawyers’ client Anthony McGarrell, aged 54 and permanently disabled as a result of a workplace injury he sustained at the Nine Network in 2007.
Mr. McGarrell, agreed to raise awareness of the injustice of these changes at tomorrow’s parliamentary submission. He shared his story in the attached video piece to be presented in parliament tomorrow to put a face to a story that needs to be shared.
Mr. McGarrell lives every waking moment in agony. He cannot walk without a frame, his injuries have him crouched over as he sits and even sitting idly, something we all take for granted, sends sharp pains through his pelvis and spine. He is depressed. He is a fraction of the man he used to be and he is reluctantly sharing his story of 7 hernia operations, depression and a lifetime of pain, to prevent other injured workers from facing his fate. The insurers do not want sufferers like Mr McGarrell to claim payments but in his words “worker’s compensation was created to help injured workers.”
“The government should exist to help the injured rather than permanently cripple them. This experience has been salt on the wounds to a man who tried several times to bare his pain and make a living .The fact of his injuries is that he will never have a day without pain. There is no job that allows or accommodates for this level of injury, yet he is practically being put on trial for something out of his hands,” said Chrara.
It’s time we had a conscience about what happens to injured workers.
Event organiser and Greens MP, David Shoebridge said, “No one chooses to be injured at work. If you are injured you deserve respect, fair compensation and lifetime medical support.”
Shoebridge has organised an injured workers forum at Parliament House to discuss these laws and lobby for change. Mr McGarrell’s video will be played at the event.
Shine Lawyers General Manager, James Chrara will be present for interviews.
Interviews with Mr McGarrell are available on request.
Date and Time
Wed. 8 November 2017
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm AEDT
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Minister Victor Dominello,Shadow Minister Clayton Barr, Head of WIRO Kim Garling, Rita Mallia from CFMEU, Shay Deguara from PSA, injured workers and others.
For all Shine Lawyer and client inquiries, please contact Miriam Eryan, NSW Media Advisor
Miriam Eryan 0466 367 497